Sunday, September 28, 2014

Pretend Summer and This Week's Goals

This weekend was a great throwback to summer. Not only was the weather sunny and over 80 degrees both days, but we were back at the Cape. It's a lot more complicated visiting the Cape with Max for just a weekend. The logistics alone make it almost not worth it and then throw in a lot of traffic and a screaming baby… sigh. But, it is such a happy place for us that we have to do it every once in awhile. 

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I was almost able to pretend it was still summer. 

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I didn't post about my goals last week, but don't worry I had some. They resulted in me getting rid of several mugs- anyone else hoard mugs? It might be a teacher thing. I also accomplished my goals from the week before. Most notably, Max's sleep has improved a lot. Thank goodness. 

The week ahead brings Curriculum Night where I have to make a big presentation at night. I am not a night person and I still have to teach all day before, and all day the next day so I'm going to need to rally all my energy. Therefore, goals this week are: 

1. Read 50% of my book. Just started Dollbaby today. Hopefully it will get me in the spirit to go visit "the south" in February, ha ha. 

2. Some movement every day: swim, walk, something. Today I went for a bike ride, so off to a good start. 

How was your weekend? What are you up to this week? 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Max: 8 Months

Wow, a LOT happened in Max land this past month! Hopefully I won't forget anything :) 

In no particular order (because I already forget the exact order): 

Max started to crawl. It was a slow process for him and if he could've avoided it all together I think he would've. He started by crawling one step and then sitting back up. Now, he really crawls, but his crawl is a very unique version that does not involve putting his right knee on the ground at all. Seriously, the kid just wants to walk. 

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Which leads in nicely to his other new skill: pulling up on everyone and everything. I really mean everyone. If you sit on the floor to play with him, he will likely abandon his toys, crawl over to you and then stand himself up while holding on your legs, or head, whatever is at the appropriate level for him. He also walks along furniture items, such as my bed. He wants to stand/walk so badly that he often just lets go… which currently results in him falling but, it's only a matter of time now. 

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Max has also added a "word" to his Max language: Dadadadadadada, with an occasional Dad-EEE thrown in for good measure. It's up for debate if he knows who his Dada actually is, but he at least says it frequently. In case you were keeping track, yes my parents did test out the theory of saying "mama" over and over again to Max since he was born to see if he would say "Mama" first. Didn't work ;)

Also on the language front, Max can sign "milk." In case you were wondering, the sign for milk looks like you are milking a cow. His understanding of this word is also up for debate. I'm convinced he knows it has to do with food, but he often signs it also while eating solid food, so I think I may have accidentally lead him to believe it means "more food" by often forgetting to do it until midway through nursing sessions. Oops. 

Max began swimming lessons and learned how to kick. He also attempted once to blow bubbles but at the moment this consists of sticking the tip of his nose in the water and then coming back up looking a bit shocked. 

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Thank you to those of you who encouraged me to do swim lessons with Max even though we knew it would be a busy time. It has actually been the best possible time to have this super positive and fun half hour to spend with such a cute and happy little guy :) 

Finally, the last exciting milestone… Max can feed himself Cheerios! If you know me, you know about my love for Cheerios. I am excited he shares this love and that I now have someone to blame when I leave my inevitable trail of Cheerios around the house. Yay! 

But this month was not all exciting milestones. Both Eric and I went back to work, and leaving Max seemed (for me at least) much harder the second go around. Plus, Max decided to stop sleeping through the night. At first it was just waking up to eat, and that was fine, but then it became "I want to play for hours in the middle of the night!" at which point we needed to put a stop to things. We started officially "sleep training" last week, beginning with bedtime and moving to the middle of the night. I'm not going to lie, it completely sucked in every way except one…he is now going to bed on his own and has slept through the night 2 of the last 4 nights. I don't think I'm done by any means, but I'm crossing my fingers that at least the hardest part is over now. 

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Likes: taking all his books off the shelf, Cheerios, climbing, watching people do silly things, smiles, walks, staring at people, swimming lessons (particularly kicking and mom blowing bubbles)

Dislikes: when mom and dad don't want to play at 2am, still not a big fan of the car but this has definitely improved

Eating: He is currently eating about 4 solid meals a day and 4 nursing sessions (1 bottle on the days I'm at work and since he is still kind of not the biggest bottle fan, my mom often just mixes the milk into his food). 

Sleeping: Most of this month sleep consisted of an 8:15 bedtime, followed by 1 wake up anytime between 12 and 5 am, lasting anywhere from 20 minutes to 2-3 hours, wake up time around 7. His naps started around 8:30-9am and 12:30-1pm, they lasted anywhere from 1-2 hours. He is basically down to 2 naps these days. 

And now, we have an 8 month old! :) Thanks again for reading! 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Sleep and Weekly Goals

Last week was not my favorite. The transition back to work has been rough. It was 100 times easier last time (in April) for two reasons: Max actually slept at night (#1 reason) and I already knew my students and was coming back to them so I wasn't teaching all the routines and procedures of the beginning of the year, and trying to get to know my students and their parents. It actually makes me sad that this class doesn't know Max at all… I almost miss how much students would interrupt my lesson to say, "so, how's Max doing?" But really, the time, energy and mental effort involved in the beginning of kindergarten is not for the sleep deprived person. 

Max has decided he no longer sleeps through the night. At first, he just woke up, had a quick snack and was back to sleep. I didn't love it, but I figured he must be hungry and at least it was a quick wake up (though it always takes me awhile to get back to sleep). The past two weeks though, it's more like wake up, take a sip of milk, decide he's not hungry, try to play, test out new crawling skills, maybe pull up on the side of crib, cry for mom, try to play, cry for mom again, etc. Blah, I know I have to sleep train but my one attempt went horrible and no amount of ignoring crying in kindergarten can prepare you for listening to your baby scream in the next room. 

Good thing he is cute. 

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Last week's goals were to walk or swim every night and to control my media use by avoiding the computer after Max was asleep and deleting the Facebook app on my phone. I did great with goal #1, I walked every single night even the nights that I swam. This won't be one of my goals this week but I'm sure I will do it again as it's really just the best thing for our whole family. My media use was okay- I did go on the computer a couple of times after Max was asleep, simply because I had to do something for work or pay a bill etc. I forgot that some days that is really my only opportunity to get on the computer between work and taking care of Max. Even still, I had no problem shutting it off to go to bed early, so that's good. I kept the Facebook app off my phone all week, but I did have a few instances where I went to the website… still that had to be more intentional than just clicking on the app so, I think I'll probably keep the app off my phone for now and see if I can kind of slowly make myself less dependent. 

Goals for Week of 9/14

1. Read more. It's so hard to fit in, but I'm always happier when I do. Try to get 50% of the way through my new book: The Last Letter from Your Lover by Jojo Meyes

2. Train Max to go to bed without falling asleep nursing. It's going to stink but that's the first step in training this baby not to wake up to play in the middle of the night. I'm going to start on Thursday so I only have 1 more day to get through of work, and hopefully by the next Monday things won't be super terrible. Then in a few weeks I'll tackle the middle of the night wake ups (unless they stop, which would be even better). 

And here is your unsolicited advice from me this week. #1- don't have kids, #2- don't teach kindergarten and #3- if you don't listen to me about 1 or 2, please at least don't do both. Thank me later :)

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Saving Sanity and Weekly Goals

I'm really liking these weekly goals- if nothing else, it forces me to blog once a week. Ha ha. I survived the first week of school, didn't actually have students but sitting through training all day is definitely a special kind of torture, so survival is an accomplishment. Max did pretty well with my first week of work. He wasn't big on napping but that's not too different from the norm...

I did well with my goals last week. I took a walk every night and I turned off my computer by 9… well sometimes 9:20, but definitely earlier than I was before so I consider that a win. The nightly walks are a sanity saver for our whole family and we even managed to walk in a few different places this week which was fun. Below is a photo of the reservoir near my house which is definitely an old favorite walking location. According to my Fitness Magazine that I was reading on the elliptical the other day, you really only need to take 4-5, 30 minute walks per week for health purposes. If you want to lose weight, obviously you need to do more but it's good to know that in this season (of life) where sometimes the workouts happen and sometimes they don't, I'm really not sacrificing my health at all. I mean sure, these magazines most likely make up stats and you can find a study to back up basically any claim but, I'm just going to call it a win for now and not question it. 

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Here are some other sanity savers I've been trying out: doing all prep for the morning in advance (picking out clothes, packing lunches, packing insane number of bags I need these days), planning with Eric for the week in advance including who will pick up Max, who will work out when, what we are eating for dinner etc, grocery shopping every 2 weeks with a small Trader Joe's run on the "off" week. I'm currently loving all of these things, so let's hope I am motivated to keep them up. 

When I look ahead to this upcoming week, I'm going to continue to focus on sanity savers. Unfortunately Max is in a really bad sleep phase at the moment. As a result, I really need to focus on taking care of myself so that I can function on far less sleep than I am used to/need. Also I have to deal with 23 kindergarten kids all day starting tomorrow. Sigh. 

Goals for Week of 9/7:

1. Continue nightly walks or other exercise (swimming counts, so does strollerblading if we get motivated to do that).

2. Decrease technology use, specifically: delete FB app from phone, read or go to bed after Max is asleep.

 

And on that note, Max is asleep so I should be turning off my computer. I hope everyone had a great weekend! 

 

 

 

Monday, September 1, 2014

Weekend, Goals for Week 1 of a New School Year

I hope everyone is having a lovely long weekend. I am soaking up this last bit of family time before I return to work on Tuesday. On Friday we decided to visit one of the Boston Harbor Islands called Spectacle Island. It actually used to be a dump until the Big Dig covered up all the trash only about 15 years ago. We got an early start on the day and ended up having the island almost to ourselves. Plus, the USS Constitution which only sails a few times a year happened to be sailing, so we got a perfect view of it. 

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Also, Eric's brother got married over the weekend- so I gained a sister this weekend :) They were supposed to get married next September, but they decided to do a small ceremony yesterday and then have the party next year. Funny story: I called it a "shotgun" wedding until I realized that means the girl is pregnant so they rush the wedding… OOPS! Don't get me wrong I wouldn't be sad if that was the case, ha ha, but I thought it just meant a wedding that was planned quickly. 

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As I mentioned last week, I'm trying to do weekly goals now. Last week I wanted to take Max to do something new (see Spectacle Island, above) and an old favorite (we went to Walden Pond twice and we visited my grandmother). I also wanted to write short "To Do" lists each day. I did this 3 of the days, so not bad. I also tried doing a little social media break on Sunday. I caved a bit while trying to put Max down for a nap and went on Instagram, but overall it's something I will be doing again. 

This week is going to be a crazy one as I go back to work tomorrow. My students aren't starting until next week but I have a training and lots of meetings this week. It's going to be a complicated week of figuring out when to pump and where to pump (the training is at another school) and also trying to get my classroom ready. My goals? 

1. Go for a walk every day. (We usually do this already but want to make sure it happens this week.)

2. Turn off the computer by 9 every night. 

I hope everyone has a nice week! It's going to be HOT here, so I guess mother nature is not ready to say bye to summer either! 

 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Max: 7 Months

7 months is not an age I thought much about. I worried a lot about the newborn days, and reaching that 1 month mark. I thought a lot about 3 months, when I would return to work. Since I thought Max would be born in February, I thought a lot about 6 months, when I believed Max would start attending day care. I had my goal in my mind that we would make it to 6 months breastfeeding and then I'd be done. But like everything when it comes to having a baby, nothing went as expected. Max was born a month early, making him 7 months now. I'm still breastfeeding and now hope to for a year. And Max will be spending the year with my mom and won't go to daycare until he is more like 19 months (an age I can't even fathom at this point). 

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While I didn't think much about 7 months ahead of time, now that it's here, I kinda love it. Max is a happy guy. 

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This month for Max was filled with many great adventures and lots of play dates. It's easy to celebrate his day trip to Provincetown, or his even more epic day trip to Nantucket. 

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Max even went strollerblading one day!IMG 7397

Max has continued to impress me with his ability to adapt to his mom and dad's ridiculous plans for the day. I shouldn't even say adapt… Max LOVES being out and about as much as we do. 

Sometimes in motherhood I get bogged down with the day to day. The adventures are fun, but sometimes the "oh, you need to eat/sleep/get your diaper changed again" thing gets old. Especially on the day when he just wants to fight me instead of actually eating, sleeping or get his diaper changed. It can feel like I've spent the whole day trying to get him to eat or sleep. But, there is a lot of fun in the routine too. The photos below were taken on a day when Max fell asleep in the car and therefore refused to take an afternoon nap soon later, ha. IMG 7334

My other favorite part of the average day is walk time. Max is a super grump after dinner if we try to just hang out. So we go for walks instead. One day it was raining and none of us had rain gear at the Cape, so obviously Eric just made Max a poncho out of a plastic bag. 

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Max loves walking on the beach and now that we are home, he is probably thinking "wait a sec…" 

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The fact that Max can sit up now has really improved his ability to play independently. He enjoys sitting on the rug and just playing with his toys or looking at books now. It's amazing how much I can accomplish in the ten minutes or so Max will play by himself. If I want to stretch it out a bit, all I have to do is use whatever I'm doing in a game of Peekaboo. Both dishes and laundry are very useful to "hide" behind. When Max and I play together, he enjoys trying to eat the book as I read it, and also having me stack up a tower and then he knocks it down. What more can you ask for? 

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Likes: Max still loves everything I mentioned in his six month post and probably five for that matter. He also loves bath toys particularly if they squirt water at him. He loves being outside: going for walks or runs with us, swinging on the swings, riding on boats, just people watching in general. 

Dislikes: Max dislikes getting into his car seat. He has learned that he can stop me from putting him in (temporarily) by locking his legs in a straight position. Of course, I always win this battle but he hasn't figured that out yet. He is also starting to become more concerned about things like loud noises and falling backwards (while sitting), which used to not bother him at all. 

Sleeping: It's always a work in progress but it seems to be in a relatively good phase now. Bedtime around 8pm, wake up anywhere between 6 and 7. 2-3 naps a day of varying length and times, but a pretty reliable 8:30-10 nap in the AM. 

Eating: Max loves food and eating. His solid food eating times resemble a college student: breakfast at 10:30am, lunch at 3pm and dinner at 7pm. He continues to love pears, sweet potato and chicken, and yogurt. He usually nurses at 7am, 11:30am, 4:30pm and 7:45pm plus when he goes down for naps. I have no idea how this is all going to play out when I go back to work next week. In theory I should only have to pump at 11:30am, but I'm not sure how much milk he actually drinks before naps and if that will equal another pumping session. We shall see. 

 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

On Goal Setting

As you may remember, before I had Max I used to set monthly goals. I know goals are not for everyone, but for me they help me stay focused on things I want to accomplish. A lot of times, they help me incorporate something fun or focus on something I'd probably forget about otherwise. I still get annoyed like everyone else when I have to create artificial goals at work with all sorts of rules that end up making something I don't care about at all. But when left to my own devices, I love goals and they work for me. It helps that I try to keep them fun, and don't get upset if I don't meet them. 

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I have been on and off with actually setting goals lately. I've slipped into a pattern where if I have too much stress I eliminate the goals to take pressure off myself. Maybe that's the wrong way to go. 

Eric starts school tomorrow. I have a classroom to get ready and a year to prepare for. I have one last week to enjoy uninterrupted time with Max. I have every reason in the world to just worry about goals later. Which is why I'm choosing to worry about them now. For the rest of August, and all of September I'm going to try to write one or two weekly goals and see how I like it. 

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August 24-August 30th

1. Take Max to do something new. Take Max to an old favorite. 

2. Write a "To Do" list each day. Each list will have 5 items or less. 

Do you write out goals for yourself?